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    KNM Process Systems Sdn Bhd, has secured a RM122 million (€26/$36m) order to build a biodiesel plant in Pahang, Malaysia, for Mission Biofuels Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Australian biofuels company Mission Biofuels Ltd. The plant will have a biodiesel output of 750 tonnes per day and glycerine output of 82 tonnes per day. Malaysia Business Times - July 23, 2007.

    AlgoDyne Ethanol Energy Inc. confirms that its retail partner, Canadian Green Fuels, has entered into an agreement with Cansource BioFuels to open a new biodiesel production facility in Mayerthorpe Alberta. The deal will see the construction and development of a community based, integrated crushing and biodiesel facility to process 10 million litres of ASTM certified canola based biodiesel which will be scaled up to produce 40million litres by 2010. BusinessWire - July 23, 2007.

    The Center for Management Technology announces the second Biomass-to-Liquids Technology conference will take place in Vienna this year, from 12 to 13 September. The current state of BTL-technologies will be presented and discussed. Biomass-to-Liquids conversion pathways are seen by many as promising avenues into the world of second generation biofuels that relies on the use of a broad variety of possible biomass feedstocks. CMT - July 23, 2007.

    Gulf Ethanol Corporation, a Houston-based energy company, announced today that it has initiated negotiations with representatives of government and industry in Uruguay. Discussions, coordinated by the U.S. Department of Commerce, centered on the synergy between Gulf Ethanol's interest in exploiting the potential of sorghum as a non-food fuel stock for ethanol production and the ideal conditions for growing the crop in Uruguay. The company criticizes the use of food crops like corn for ethanol in the U.S. and is seeking alternatives. Yahoo Press Release - July 20, 2007.

    Dutch company Capella Capital N.V. announces its investment in BiogasPark N.V. and acquires a 20 % stake upon the foundation of the company. The remaining shares are held by the management and strategic investors. BiogasPark N.V. will invest in the field of renewable energy and primarily focuses on financing, purchasing and the maintenance of biogas plant facilities. Ad Hoc News - July 20, 2007.

    Bioenergy company Mascoma Corp. is to build the world's first commercial scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Michigan where it will collaborate with Michigan State University. The $100 million plant will rely on the biochemical, enzymatic process that breaks down biomass to convert it to sugars. One of the factors that attracted Mascoma to Michigan was the recent $50 million federal grant MSU received to study biofuels in June. MSU will help in areas such as pretreatment technology for cellulosic ethanol production and energy crops that can be utilized by the plant. The State News - July 20, 2007.

    PetroChina, one of China's biggest oil companies, aims to invest RMB 300 million (€28.7/US$39.6m) in biofuel production development plans. A special fund is also going to be jointly set up by PetroChina and the Ministry of Forestry to reduce carbon emissions. Two thirds of the total investment will be channeled into forestry and biofuel projects in the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan and Hebei, the remainder goes to creating a China Green Carbon Foundation, jointly managed by PetroChina and the State Forestry Administration. China Knowledge - July 19, 2007.

    Netherlands-based oil, gas, power and chemical industries service group Bateman Litwin N.V. announces it has signed an agreement to acquire Delta-T Corporation, a leading US-based bioethanol technology provider, with a fast growing engineering, procurement and construction division for a total consideration of US$45 million in cash and 11.8 million new ordinary shares in Bateman Litwin. Bateman Litwin - July 18, 2007.

    TexCom, Inc. announced today that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire Biodiesel International Corp. (BIC), and is developing a plan to build an integrated oilseed crushing and biodiesel production facility in Paraguay. The facility, as it is currently contemplated, would process 2,000 metric tons of oil seeds per day, yielding approximately 136,000 metric tons (approximately 39 Million Gallons) of biodiesel and 560,000 metric tons of soy meal pellets per year. Initial feedstock will consist mainly of soybeans that are grown in the immediate area of the proposed production plant in the Provinces of Itapua and Alto Parana. MarketWire - July 18, 2007.

    Spanish power company Elecnor announced that it will build Spain's biggest biodiesel production plant for €70 million (US$96.48 million). The plant, in the port of Gijon in northern Spain, will be ready in 22 months and will produce up to 500,000 tonnes of biodiesel a year from vegetable oil. The plant will be one of the world's biggest. Spain has decided to impose mandatory blending of biofuels with conventional fossil fuels as part of European Union efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Elecnor [*Spanish] - July 18, 2007.

    The University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) conducted a feasibility study to determine the most economical solutions to provide biomass energy to the isolated Chugachmiut Tribal Community in the village of Port Graham, Alaska, located on the Kenai Peninsula about 180 miles southwest of Anchorage. The village is only accessible by air or water, making traditional fossil fuel sources expensive to deliver and alternative forms of energy difficult to implement. The case study based on decentralised bioenergy offers interesting parallels to what would be needed to provide energy to the developing world's huge population that lives in similarly isolated conditions. EERC - July 18, 2007.

    According to a basic market report by Global Industries Inc., world biodiesel sales are expected to exceed 4.7 billion gallons (17.8 billion liters) by 2010. Though Europe, with a share estimated at 84.16% in 2006, constitutes the largest market, and will continue to do so for the coming years, major growth is expected to emanate from the United States. The automobile applications market for biodiesel, with an estimated share of 55.73% in 2006 constitutes the largest as well as the fastest growing end use application. Other applications independently analyzed include the Mining Applications market and the Marine Applications market. PRWeb - July 18, 2007.

    O2Diesel Corporation announced that it has received the regulatory approvals necessary to start delivering its proprietary diesel ethanol blended fuel, O2Diesel, in the French market. The approvals pave the way for O2Diesel to move forward into the next stage of its European market development strategy by commencing deliveries to a number of targeted fleets in France. MarketWire - July 17, 2007.

    The BBC World Service is hosting a series of programmes on the global obesity pandemic. Over the coming two weeks a range of documentaries and discussions will be held on the obesity time-bomb that is growing all over the West, but also in the developing world. In North America, a quarter of people are now morbidly obese, 60% is overweight, and one in three children will become obese. The epidemic is spreading rapidly to China and India. BBC World Service - July 16, 2007.

    A new report from Oregon State University shows the biofuels industry is on track to be a $2.5 billion chunk of the state's economy within 20 years. The study identifies 80 potential biodiesel, ethanol and biomass facilities which could produce a combined 400 million gallons (1.5 billion liters) per year of ethanol and another 315 million gallons (1.2 billion liters) of biodiesel. On an oil equivalent basis, this comes down to around 38,000 barrels per day. Oregon State University - July 16, 2007.

    Jatropha biodiesel manufacturer D1 Oils has appointed a leading plant scientist to its board of directors. Professor Christopher Leaver, Sibthorpian professor of plant science and head of the plant sciences department at Oxford University, has joined the Teesside company as a non-executive director. Professor Leaver, who was awarded a CBE in 2000, is a leading expert in the molecular and biochemical basis of plant growth and differentiation. D1Oils Plc - July 16, 2007.

    Panama and South Africa are set to cooperate on biofuels. A delegation consisting of vice-minister of Foreign Affairs Azis Pahad, of Finance, Jubulai Moreketi and of Finance, met with Panama's vice-chancellor Ricardo Durán to discuss joint biodiesel and ethanol production and distribution. Panama's goal is to become a hub for internationally traded bioenergy, making use of the strategic position of the Canal. La Prensa Gráfica [*Spanish] - July 14, 2007.

    Spanish investors are studying the opportunity to invest in agro-industrial projects in Morocco aimed at producing biofuel from the Jatropha plant. Morocco’s Minister for Energy and Mines, Mohammed Boutaleb, said Moroccan authorities are willing to provide the necessary land available to them, provided that the land is not agricultural, is located in semi-arid regions, and that the investors agree to use water-saving agricultural techniques, such as drip-feed irrigation. Magharebia - July 14, 2007.

    Philippine Basic Petroleum Corp. plans to raise as much as 2.8 billion pesos (€44.4/US$61.2 million) through a follow-on offering and loans to finance a 200,000 liter per day bio-ethanol plant in the province of Zamboanga del Norte. The move into biofuels comes in anticipation of the implementation of RA 9367 or the Philippines biofuels law. RA 9367 mandates five percent bioethanol blending into gasoline by 2009, and 10 percent by 2011. Manila Bulletin - July 14, 2007.

    The Michigan Economic Development Corporation last week awarded a $3.4 million grant to redevelop the former Pfizer research facility in Holland into a bioeconomy research and commercialization center. Michigan State University will use the facility to develop technologies that derive alternative energy from agri-based renewable resources. Michigan.org - July 13, 2007.

    Fuel prices increased three times in Mozambique this year due to high import costs. For this reason, the country is looking into biofuels as an alternative. Mozambique's ministries of agriculture and energy presented a study showing that more than five million hectares of land can be used sustainably in the production of crops that would produce biodiesel fuels. The first phase of a biofuel implementation plan was also presented, identifying the provinces of Inhambane, Zambezia, Nampula and Cabo Delgado as the first to benefit. News24 (Capetown) - July 12, 2007.

    The Malaysian Oleochemical Manufacturers Group (MOMG) has urged the government for incentives and grants to companies to encourage the development of new uses and applications for glycerine, the most important byproduct of biodiesel. Global production of glycerine is currently about one million tonnes. For every 10 tonnes of oil processed into biodiesel, one tonne of glycerine emerges as a by-product. Bernama - July 12, 2007.

    BioDiesel International AG has acquired 70 per cent of the shares in Lignosol, a Salzburg based company that is making promising progress in Biomass-to-Liquids conversion techniques. The purchase price is in the single-digit million Euro range. ACN - July 10, 2007.

    Gay & Robinson Inc. and Pacific West Energy LLC announced today a partnership to develop an ethanol plant in Hawaii based on sugarcane feedstocks. The plant's capacity is around 12 million gallons (45 million liters) per year. The partnership called Gay & Robinson Ag-Energy LLC, will also ensure the continuation of the Gay & Robinson agricultural enterprise, one of the oldest in Hawaii. Approximately 230 jobs will be preserved, and a large area of West Kauai will be maintained in sustainable agriculture. Business Wire - July 10, 2007.

    Water for Asian Cities (WAC), part of UN-Habitat, is extending partial financial support for the construction of several biogas plants across the Kathmandu valley and develop them as models for municipal waste management. The first biogas plants will be built in Khokna, Godavari, Kalimati, Patan, Tribhuvan University premises, Amrit Science College premises and Thimi. The Himalayan Times - July 09, 2007.

    EnviTec Biogas's planned initial public offering has roused 'enormous' interest among investors and the shares have been oversubscribed, according to sources. EnviTec has set the IPO price range at €42-52 a share, with the subscription period running until Wednesday. EnviTec last year generated sales of €100.7 million, with earnings before interest and tax of €18.5 million. Forbes - July 09, 2007.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sweden invests $143 million in Indonesian biofuel sector, companies obliged to have own plantations

Sweden BioEnergy will invest 1.3 trillion rupiah (€103.7/$143.5 million) in biofuel development in Indonesia by establishing a Jatropha curcas plantation on 100,000 hectares of land in the province of East Nusa Tenggara (map, click to enlarge) in the near future, an official has said. The announcement comes at a time that the Indonesian government is considering requiring biodiesel producers in the country to have their own dedicated plantations in order not to disrupt supplies of vegetable oils to the food industry.

The Swedish company which for the first time dealt with the biofuel sector in Indonesia last March, would also set up a biofuel processing plant in East Nusa Tenggara with a capacity of 350,000 tons per year, Al Hilal Hamdi, chairman of the Indonesian National Biofuel Development Team, said.

The chairman announced that 400 billion rupiah in investment would be used to procure 100,000 ha of land and the remaining 900 billion rupiah for funding the construction of the biofuel processing plant.

Sweden BioEnergy is one of 50 private companies interested in building the biofuel sector in Indonesia at a total cost of US$17 billion, or 150 trillion rupiah in the next few years.

Sweden is a staunch advocate of international biofuel trade and the largest importer of the fuels in Europe. At the recent landmark International Conference on Biofuels organised by the EU, the country's trade minister Sten Tolgfors also announced his government will work towards removing trade barriers to make sure European citizens get access to affordable fuels, whereas producers in the South can benefit from selling on the world's largest market (earlier post). Tolgfors also visited Indonesia and identified the country as a major player in such a global trade (more here).

Indonesia has been attracting a massive amount of foreign investment in the biofuel sector, so much so that it forced the government to put a moratorium on new private sector initiatives in order to allow for more time to develop appropriate policies.
The private companies' commitment to develop the biofuel sector in Indonesia is beyond our expectations. - Indonesian Biofuel Development national team chairman Al Hilal Hamdi
Last January, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) signed a $5.5 billion deal on the development of the biofuel sector in Indonesia, announcing the establishment of 3 processing plants in Kalimantan (earlier post). Other private companies like Genting Biofuel under a cooperation with Sinopec invested $3 billion while Indomal poured $1 billion in a biofuel development project in Indonesia.

Hilal also said that British Petroleum Plc which has a cooperation with D1 Oils Plc, planned to build a biofuel producing plantation on 1 million hectares of land in India, Indonesia and Africa (more here). The largest part of this 1 million ha plantation will be built in Indonesia:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

In the beginning, the BBN national team's secretary Evita Legowo said BP Plc had already explored a possibility of opening 100,000 ha of land for biofuel development in NTT, Papua, and Kalimantan.

The BP Plc and D1 Oil cooperation was part of an investment set at $160 million to develop the biofuel sector in India, South Africa and Southeast Asia, she said.

The government has predicted that the country`s biofuel development project until 2010 will cost 200 trillion rupiah, including 13 to 15 trillion allocated by the government and the rest by the private sector.

New plantations
Meanwhile, the Indonesian government is considering requiring biofuel industries to have their own plantations in order not to disrupt vegetable oil supplies to the food industry, Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono said. This will be especially the case for crude palm oil (CPO), prices of which have increased considerably.
The development of downstream industry is inseparable from its upstream industry, meaning that biofuel firms must have their own oil palm plantations - Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono
Speaking during a national seminar on CPO for food or energy, the Agriculture Minister said the government was mulling the obligation for biofuel industries to keep CPO supplies in check.

At least upstream palm oil industries would continue to grow in the future to create more jobs, he said.

Asked about the low production of biofuel as an alternative energy source in the country, he said it was caused by its higher prices, the more so because the government still subsidized fuel oil prices.

"The government is also formulating a policy to boost the usage of biofuel now that under a presidential decree biofuel is expected to contribute to 5 percent of the national energy needs by 2025," he said.

Under the government`s biofuel promotion plan, Indonesia will increase the use of biofuel to 5.29 billion by 2010 and 9.84 billion liters by 2015.

Evita H. Legowo, an assistant to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources said recently state oil and gas firm Pertamina - the only biofuel distributor in the country - was finding it hard to raise biofuel sales because of its higher prices.

The minister, quoting data from the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), said many foreign biofuel firms had applied for permits to operate in the country.

"We are also figuring out what kind of decision suitable to boost the use of biofuel. Do we need to provide biofuel subsidy or do we need to divert fuel oil subsidy to biofuel subsidy. To that end, we need inputs from stakeholders," he said. He said the country would need an estimated 12 million tons of CPO a year to produce oil palm-based biofuel.

Antara: Sweden invests Rp1.3 trln in Indonesian biofuel sector - July 24, 2007.

Antara: Biofuel firms may be obliged to have own oil palm plantations - July 24, 2007


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